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Bariatric Crutches / Heavy Duty Crutches

Bariatric crutches are the perfect choice for anyone who requires a higher weight capacity than that offered by a standard crutch. Users of forearm crutches often have trouble finding bariatric forearm crutches. Fortunately, there is a place to find these heavy duty crutches: At AvaCare Medical, of course! Our heavy-duty forearm crutches and axillary crutches are from Drive Medical, Medline, Graham Field, and other top medical manufacturers in the United States. Read More...

What Are Bariatric Crutches?

Bariatric crutches are available in multiple types – both axillary crutches and bariatric elbow crutches have bariatric versions. The term bariatric is derived from the Greek word meaning “weight”. Therefore, the term bariatric itself applies to heavier than standard weight in the medical industry. The average weight capacity of crutches is anywhere from 150 to 300 pounds. Anything from 300 pounds and up would require sturdier design and increased weight capacity for the safety of the heavier user. We have bariatric forearm crutches and armpit crutches that can accommodate users who weigh up to 300, 500, and even 650 pounds. 

Why Weight Capacity is Important

Other than to accommodate larger users, there are many reasons why bariatric crutches can benefit everyone. By using bariatric crutches, even if a person is not overweight, they can always ensure that they don’t go over the weight limit. Further, they can enjoy more stability and a sturdier piece of equipment for a more satisfactory and secure walking experience. 

Hospitals and other medical facilities often use bariatric equipment since they need to handle numerous patients of different sizes and weights within a tight timeframe. Therefore, many facilities have found that not only do they benefit from using bariatric hospital beds but they also find it valuable to keep bariatric manual wheelchairs and of course crutches on hand. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Heavy Duty Crutches

There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to both axillary and forearm crutches that are heavy duty. Depending on what type of crutch a person needs, one may choose between the two types of crutches in order to get the desired result or treatment to help them in their partial weight bearing or non-weight bearing situations. Some things to specifically note are that forearm crutches – while they can benefit both long-term and short-term users – are often used for long-term disabilities. Armpit crutches are often used when it will take the user a short time to recover from leg injuries, and are not chosen as often for someone who is non-weight bearing of both legs. 

Forearm Bariatric Crutch Benefits

The following benefits are probably the most notable for all forearm crutches. Many users who suffer from long-term injuries need a sustainable limited or non-weight bearing walking solution. Here are several benefits to forearm crutches: 

  • Forearm crutches are able to provide the user with more comfort due to the simple fact that weight is distributed over the entire hand, wrist, arm, and upper body.
  • Users of forearm crutches don’t have any problems with their axillary nerves since there is no pressure ever put on them.
  • Once a user masters forearm crutches, they are able to move even faster than they can with underarm crutches.
  • Forearm crutches make it easier for some users to walk without bearing any weight down on their feet and legs.
  • Users can have anywhere from 40% to 50% of exceptional trunk support while using forearm crutches with bariatric capabilities.
  • Many forearm crutches have adjustable cuffs and legs that allow the use of bariatric crutches for tall people as well.
  • Forearm crutches are ideal for long-term disorders such as cerebral palsy, musculoskeletal conditions (i.e. muscular dystrophy), and immunodeficiency disorders such as those seen in polio survivors.

Bariatric Axillary Crutch Advantages

As stated, while many users can benefit from forearm crutches, axillary (underarm or armpit) crutches have benefits of their own. A lot of patients would rather have axillary crutches as a short-term treatment option for many reasons, such as the following: 

  • Axillary bariatric crutches provide an average of 80% more trunk support than forearm crutches.
  • Axillary crutches have longer bars, and many people therefore find them easier to learn how to use.
  • Some models of axillary crutches have higher weight capacities than their forearm crutch counterparts.
  • These crutches provide more stability and support than forearm crutches.
  • They require more stamina and strength than forearm crutches.

How to Measure for Bariatric Crutches

The first step to take when choosing to buy bariatric crutches is to ensure that the weight capacity is appropriate for the user’s exact weight. Some people make the mistake of ordering heavy-duty forearm crutches and axillary crutches without thinking about if they’ll be attaching other items (which means added weight) such as grocery bags to their crutches. If the user weighs close to the same weight capacity of their crutches, then they may risk the possibility of falling or losing balance should they choose to carry an item (such as a backpack, grocery bag, etc.) along with them. 

It is recommended that people who are going to choose crutches - just as with any other piece of medical equipment - should choose the next size above their current weight capacity. If someone is over the weight capacity of their crutches at any point and then experiences a fall and afterwards notices undue wear and tear in their crutches, the manufacturers may not honor the warranty. Once the weight capacity is decided upon, one needs to do the following: 

    1. Measure for the forearm crutches. To do so, one should measure the length of the forearm from three inches below the elbow, and add that length to the distance from the wrist to the floor.
    2. Choose the width of the cuff. The user should measure the width of the largest part of the forearm.
    3. Choose a pair of crutches that are close to the length of the measured distance in step one.
    4. Hold onto one crutch and stand holding onto something else with the other hand firmly if possible. Once the handgrip is adjusted appropriately, simply sit and adjust the other crutch to match. Keep in mind that in some cases, certain users have limited physical ability in certain limbs, so some final minor adjustments to the crutches may be in order.
    5. Once both crutches are properly fitted, try using both crutches and begin with small steps. When this feels more comfortable, then branch out – not more than 12 inches forward at a time, though.

 

At AvaCare Medical, we want to provide our customers with the best possible selection of bariatric crutches, and, therefore, we’ve curated a select line of top quality crutches for you to choose from. We ship to all of the continental United States for an affordable price, and all orders over $50 qualify for free shipping. Give us a call at 1-877-813-7799 to speak with a customer service representative who is fully trained to answer any concerns or questions you have, and can assist you with your order now!